How to Make a Justice League Movie

Movie Review: Justice League War

This is the first animated feature to use a story from the rebooted continuity (New 52). And it did marvelous job reintroducing this team of superheroes to the contemporary audience.

Meet the Super 7!

One of the biggest challenges that ensemble casts have is the distinction and balance between members. Stories almost always end up giving more attention to one or two characters. But that's not the case with JLWar. The 7 main characters were given unique personalities and purpose. You've got the colossal douchebag, Batman; the overconfident ass, Green Lantern; the aloof powerhouse, Superman; the war hungry but clueless amazon, Wonder Woman; the childish Shazam; the innocent boy scout, Flash; and the unsure Cyborg.

DC's version of Power Rangers

It never felt like Superman or Batman was the leader (as is always the case in Justice League stories). Both of them just played a role. (Being the tank and tactician respectively) This gave other members like GL and Wonder Woman a chance to shine, two characters that haven't had the best on screen portrayal in recent times. (I especially enjoyed Wonder Woman's slice-now-talk-later attitude! Go Wonder Woman!) Also, Cyborg and Shazam having their own little side story was a smart move, as it gave the lesser known characters some focus.

"Come on giant. I'm getting bored!"

Batter up!

It was a treat seeing them meet each other for the first time and play off each other's personalities. Some were hilarious, with Batman and GL almost stealing the show taking jabs at each other. Even within an apocalyptic tone, JLWar was not without a good sense of humor. And I'm not sure if it was intentional or not, but it was pretty meta of them to address Diana's revealing outfit and Batman being "just a guy in a bat suit".

"You're real??"

My love, there's only you in my life....the only thing that's right...(Plays in background)

The movie also had HUGE action set pieces from start to finish! Some of my favorites were Superman VS. GL, Wonder Woman VS. anybody, and the whole team VS. Darkseid! Darkseid's size was altered for the movie. They made him more of an Apocalypse sized villain and the team seriously struggled to put him down. He became more threatening and added to the stakes in the movie. And it made more sense that there was a need for a team of heroes (since Darkseid is traditionally just Superman's villain).

Darkseid is seriously scary!

"Everybody. lend me your power!"

good hit
"Ultra mega super Batman flying side kick!!!!"

Crowbar. Just..crowbar.

This is probably going to be one of my favorites! It's up there with Under The Red Hood and Flashpoint Paradox. Justice League War is THE Justice League movie we've all been waiting for! A story that highlights all of the characters equally and massive, out-of-this-world, action sequences! If they could do this to the live action DC movie, my god, it would be guuuuuhhhhhh-lorious! This is how you make a Justice League movie!


PS. Some other tidbits about the different characters: (Slightly Spoiler-ish)
  • Superman was on roids! And he didn't get as much dialogue as the others. But if you've got a character like Superman, who needs dialogue? His silence spoke plenty.
i love you
"I'm not here to talk! Just to stare in your lovely eyes."
  • Wonder Woman's "doesn't know how normal humans talk" shtick felt fake and forced. And she takes her aggressive attitude a bit too far that it seems unrealistic. (Why wave your sword at a food vendor??) 
  • In the absence of Wally West, Hal was the natural choice for comic relief, and he was perfect! Great job by Justin Kirk. (Even though I miss Nathan Fillion's GL)
  • Jason O'Mara's Batman needs a little getting used to though. probably because Kevin Conroy's voice was so iconic. But it was a nice touch when he alters his voice between having a mask on and taking it off. But they could've also used Roger Craig Smith (Arkham Origins) instead, for consistency.
  • Flash probably got the short straw in terms of exposure. But he had his moments. Like his crowbar move. (You'll get it when you watch the movie.) It's also cool of Christopher Gorham to speed up his talking as Barry.
  • Even though I'm digging Cyborg's cool techno organic look (Amalgam of War Machine and Blue Beetle), I can't help but feel like his supposed origin story was a bit rushed. He gets his powers, but his journey from jock to superhero was nonexistent. And btw, Vic grabbing that mother box, that was obviously about to explode, was kinda stupid. But I'm glad Shemar Moore's voice helped distance Cyborg from the teen hero stereotype.
  • I'm glad they incorporated Shazam in the mix. Cyborg didn't feel as much an odd man out as he did in the comics (since he's too young to be in a mostly adult team). And Sean Astin is suitably energetic as Shazam.

  • If Cyborg could control the Mother Boxes, why didn't he just do that from the start?? And how weird was the ending where the humans just conveniently escaped Apokolips?
  • Superman killed?? Superman killed!!!
  • They seem to set up a lot of other story lines, like Superman and Wonder Woman's budding relationship. Is this the start of a connected animated movie universe? I hope so!
The Adventures of Diana and Clark - coming soon.
  • And I'm glad they didn't just disregard Aquaman. I'm happy with how he was referenced in the end. If he ends up being the villain of the next movie, that would be amazing!

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